The Scenic Route (2)

We left the coastline for a while after Marske-by-the-Sea and headed towards Sandsend. It’s countryside like this that makes you realise why people go on walking or cycling tours. You want to savour the views for longer rather than just drive through in a car. We compromised by stopping a couple of times in laybys.

The Scenic Route (1)

I’m ashamedly southern-centric and although we have now driven quickly through Yorkshire several times when ferrying our middle child up and down to Uni, I’ve never really seen anything of the county. As we left Durham for London at 0735 on Saturday morning we decided that we would allow ourselves a detour into Yorkshire proper and not just base our knowledge of this part of the UK on our view from the M1 & A1. So instead of driving due south at top speed, we started our journey in a more easterly direction.

This is Redcar before most people were up and out of their homes, save for a few faithful dog-walkers. A simple picture of subtly-toned stripes of sky, sea and sand.

Just by turning slightly to the left, Steve had a wonderful view of the Wilton Chemical Works where he worked for a few months in the late 1990s.

The whole place exuded sadness, especially the hotel across the road from where we parked the car briefly to set foot on Redcar soil and gaze across the North Sea.

The building called to me, almost as if it wanted to start a conversation but couldn’t remember the etiquette for such an interaction. Had we met before somewhere, in a past life, or in a dream? As we drove away it was like leaving an old friend that I knew I would probably never see again. Was it the time of day and lack of people or the knowledge that we had slipped away from our prescribed route that lent the sense that we were coasting in some parallel existence?

My feelings were not entirely fanciful. Today, searching for a Redcar link to discover more about this this town, IĀ  learnt that the film of Ian McEwan’s “Atonement” had used this beach for the French beach scenes.

Durham Congregation


The rain held off, thanks to flat shoes and despite Durham cobbles – the feet held up and we were privilegedĀ  to attend Congregation (graduation) in a place that has been a site of education since a time when “Oxford was a bog and Cambridge a wasteland” – or was that the other way around?

Greg and his head of department are as happy as we are about his BSc Computer Studies (International Studies). Well done Greg.

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